Rise Up in 2021

Posted on: January 5, 2021

Lets face it, 2020 was a bit of a chaotic mess. We went from optimism and a fully functioning economy to a lock down and completely new work environment. Our business members went from a pretty decent marketplace to struggling to survive; a condition which will continue for the next six months or so. I think its fair to say we all agree the past year has been difficult for many.

The challenge for 2021 will be to Rise Up and face the future with positivity, hope, and a renewed sense of purpose.

Within any business there are two key factors that determine your long-term success: your leadership, and your promise of performance.

Your Leadership

As leaders in our business and community, it is imperative that we are seen to Rise Up and embrace the challenges we face, to set the right example for our teams. We must be seen (and act) in the best interest of our staff, our business and our clients (in this order). when faced with such overwhelming challenges, this can be completely at odds with what we are actually feeling. However, the role of a true leader is to Rise Up in our communication, innovation and attitude, and chart the best course to a well defined future destination.

Rise Up and Communicate

Communicate honestly, and clearly what the challenges ware that are faced by your organization. Be real that it will have impacts, however, don’t be fatalistic. As leader who rises up and embraces the future will create the trust and momentum in their team that results in an understanding that “we are all in this together” and only by working together will a strong future emerge.

Communication is both a skill and a practice. It requires us to embrace the challenges and acknowledge the issues. As I’ve said many times before; “Honesty spoken in a shaking voice is more powerful then insincerity spoken with confidence.” Be honest but not fatalistic.

A key aspect to having a honest exchange is to communicate often.  Hold staff meetings, provide an open door, and work to develop a positive communication environment at all times.

Rise Up into Innovation

At all times, being an entrepreneur is a balancing act between being consistent and steady in what you offer, and being innovative and strategically bending the marketplace to your advantage. If this last year has taught us anything, its to square our shoulders, and Rise Up in the face of changing marketplaces to embrace digital opportunities. An entrepreneur who rises to the challenge of online ordering will by natural progression, capture a much larger marketplace than they would traditionally. An example of this is the Kamloops Innovation centers D3 Program (Digital Economy: Rapid Response + Resiliency), (click here for info) this program examines the best path to getting your business online.

In addition to moving into an online sales platform, consider a review of your current product line and look for inventory or product innovations. Ask key questions such as: . How long does inventory sit? how often do you need to turn over a product in order to see profit, each year?

Rise Up and Shine your Attitude

Your staff, your customers and your peers are watching you. They notice how you act and react, what you say to others, what your predominant approach to business and customers is. As a leader, you control the world around you, based on the approach you take with others.

To Rise Up and embrace your leadership qualities here are five simple practices you can get into to be more positive and focused:

Set your Attitude – whether its when you are getting up in the morning, or when you arrive at work, start with taking the time to frame your attitude (I prefer when I get up). Consider telling yourself that this is going to be a good day, we are going to make progress on x or y. It’s about starting with a positive intent that things are going to be positive. we all have within us positivity, however, many of us lose sight of the good, due to our inherent (genetically encoded) survival skill of recognizing the bad (in order to survive as a species). Take the time each day to set positive intent and move into your day with positivity.

Think before Acting (or reacting) – When something happens, one of the hardest concepts for many people is to understand that it doesn’t happen TO you, it happens near/around you. We often instinctively react, before we consider the impact of our actions on others. Pause and think before acting, to consider what you want the long term implications to be for your response. To be clear you want to respond, not react. Imagine you have just taken a medication; you want your body to respond to the medication, not react to it. consider each issue a medication, and opportunity to set a new intention, then respond in a way that will build relationships, and Brand.

Assume the Mantle – when was the last time you put on a new suit, had your hair done, or pampered yourself? How did you feel afterward? Were your shoulders a little more squared? Did you hold your head a little higher? I challenge you tho think in those terms, perhaps do some ore self care, but assume the mantle of positivity and opportunity, be a proactive and positive influence in your spheres of influence.

Finally, in regards to your Brand Promises, Rise Up and Go the Extra Mile – Even though businesses are open again, and you can welcome customers back, don’t abandon the innovations and extras you offered in the dark times. Embrace the new and positive opportunities to grow your brand by: Growing your Online presence (see earlier in this post) , Continuing curb side pick up, Leveraging delivery services,  and updating your online presence as often as possible to let your customers know how to access your business.

When I used to teach Leadership, one of the most important lessons I taught, was that people see the true colours of your leadership  in times of crises because this is when you must Rise Up and face the challenges. How do you appear to your network? Will you Rise Up in 21?

From the Desk of Jeremy Heighton, Executive Director.
Jeremy is a business leader who continues to advocate for community development, business vibrancy and social responsibility. Jeremy lives in Kamloops, B.C. Canada.